OUTLOOK - A book published earlier this spring that features poetry connected to everything that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic includes one entry by a local teacher.
Ellyse Theede, who teaches English Language Arts at Outlook High School, is one of the authors whose poem is included in the book, 'Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic'.
Some background information on the novel of poetry:
In March 2021, the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University and the University of Arizona Poetry Center launched the website for the Global Vaccine Poem project, inviting anyone to share experiences of the pandemic and vaccination through poetry. As a result, 'Dear Vaccine' features selections from over 2,000 poetry submissions to the project, which come from all 50 states and 118 different countries.
Internationally acclaimed author Naomi Shihab Nye, in her introduction, highlights the human dimensions found across the responses. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, provides a foreword that contextualizes the global scope of the problem, as well as the political and public health dimensions.
Making use of poetry's powerful tools to connect us across division, Dear Vaccine reminds us that medical advances alone are not enough to solve the vexing challenges of the pandemic; the arts--and poetry--have a profound and critical role to play.
Reviews for the book are coming in stellar, saying that the poetry gives readers a look at what people have been going through at that specific moment in time, allowing people to anticipate a time when the pandemic wasn't on all of our minds seemingly 24/7.
"Dear Vaccine offers a snapshot in time so that readers of the future can glimpse what it was like to anticipate and receive protection from a killer virus during a global pandemic," offered Mike DeWine, the governor of the state of Ohio.
Theede's poem speaks to making schools safe again for students and staff, pointing to the raw vulnerability that such facilities have been prone to in recent times.
'Dear vaccine, make school a safe place again.
We knew that, for some, school was a haven, a home, a hope.
We know that now, for all, school is a vulnerability, a venture, a variant.
Dear vaccine... please make school safe again.'
The book of poetry is available to purchase on Amazon, as well as through the Kent State University Press. The Outlook school library has also purchased a copy.